It’s a condition that crushes the confidence of thousands and is difficult to keep under control.
But three psoriasis sufferers who battled the skin condition for 110 years between them claim to have found a life-changing remedy.
Jude Osborne, 45, Lucy Jones, 40, and Dave Brooks, 54, from the UK, all first had symptoms of itchy, flaky, sore skin at a young age.
With no cure, the trio tried a vast amount of GP-prescribed treatments including steroid creams and light therapy to manage the endless itchy cycle.
Nothing seemed to work – until each came across Soratinex’s three-step regime consisting of a gel, cream and oil.
Within a week, the results were striking. And years later, there have been no flare-ups. Here, they tell MailOnline their stories.
Jude Osborne, 45, from London, said she couldn’t help feeling ashamed of the condition
Ms Osborne said her psoriasis had ‘exploded’ on her legs. But once she used the Soratinex regime, her legs cleared up by 95 per cent in a few months. Pictured before and after
‘Doctors were arrogant and dismissive’ – Jude Osborne
Jude Osborne, 45, a graphic designer from London, first developed psoriasis at 17 years old during a stressful exam period.
It began on her scalp and elbows, and eight years later, began to show in patches on her legs before ‘exploding all over them’.
Ms Osborne said: ‘People stare at you and you begin to monitor what you wear. I was always uncomfortable, and embarrassed and so avoided wearing shorts or dresses where you could see my legs. It makes you feel ashamed of something you shouldn’t feel ashamed of.’
Steroid creams, a first-line treatment for psoriasis prescribed by doctors, only made Ms Osborne’s skin feel worse.
She said: ‘All they seemed to do was make my skin feel like it was burning or boiling.
‘At one point, my GP sent me to see a specialist in north London but when I told her that steroids didn’t work for me, she was so arrogant. She said “This time they will work, because I’m treating you”. And of course, they didn’t work.
‘I think the NHS is wonderful but after that, I tried to avoid dismissive doctors and stopped using the treatments.’
In January 2018, Ms Osborne decided to give Soratinex a try after reading about it in a newspaper and seeing people talk about it on Psoriasis Association forums.
She had been using Dermalex at the time, but said her skin continued to burn and itch underneath.
She said: ‘Within ten days of starting to use the product regime, I stopped experiencing the frantic burning and itching I had struggled with for years. It was fantastic.
‘Then my skin began to clear up. That took perseverance, but over several months I would say my legs became about 95 per cent clear.
‘It has been absolutely amazing. And, except for the occasional flareup, the psoriasis hasn’t come back.
‘I recently went to New Zealand and was in shorts the whole time. It felt brilliant. I have the summer to look forward to here without worrying about what I wear.’
Lucy Jones, 40, pictured with her husband Neil, has dealt with psoriasis for 35 years
Pictured before and after: Mrs Jones’ skin had become ‘paper thin’ and sore over the years. Now, she said all her concerns have gone away since using Soratinex
‘I was worried my psoriasis would come back, but it didn’t’ – Lucy Jones
Lucy Jones, 40, a full-time student from the New Forest, Hampshire, was five when she first started seeing symptoms of psoriasis.
‘That was the start of 35 years with the condition,’ she said.
‘My mum first noticed scales on my scalp when she was washing my hair. And then it slowly went over most of my body.’
Doctors tried to heal Mrs Jones’ skin with steroid creams and considered giving her light therapy.
But due to also suffering from vitiligo, a skin pigmentation condition, this wasn’t possible.
The mother-of-two said: ‘By the age of nine I had been admitted to St Thomas’s hospital in London for three weeks.
‘The psoriasis covered 90 per cent of my scalp, and I had spots all over my body except my face. My nails were also pitted.
‘They tried cream after cream on me until my mum said enough was enough and took me home.’
But from there on, Mrs Jones battled her condition using a variety of treatments which never solved the problem.
She said: ‘My skin became paper thin, and even when the psoriasis wasn’t there, it was sore. I just felt grazed all over.
‘My GP’s attitude was that the cream was doing its job, but it didn’t feel like that to me.
After being offered immune suppressants, Mrs Jones was relieved – and shocked – to see Soratinex cleared her skin within a few months. Pictured, her foot before and after
WHAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin and sometimes the joints.
Around two per cent of people in the US and UK suffer from the condition.
Psoriasis occurs when a person’s skin replacement process takes place within days rather than the usual 21-to-28 days.
The accumulation of skin cells builds up to form raised plaques, which can be flaky, scaly and itchy.
Psoriasis arthritis can occur in the joints near affected skin, causing them to become tender, swollen and stiff.
Anyone can suffer, but psoriasis is more common in people in their late teens-to-early 30s or those between the ages of 50 and 60.
Psoriasis’ cause is unclear. Flare-ups can be triggered by stress, skin injury, hormonal changes and certain medications.
It is not contagious and there is no cure.
Treatment focuses on managing symptoms via topical creams, gels and medication.
Source: Psoriasis Association
‘All my life I had been self-conscious about my appearance. I would worry about dry skin on clothes, getting changed for PE at school.
‘It affected me throughout my childhood and teenage years. I have two children of my own, aged six and seven, and I have avoided taking them swimming because I would do anything to avoid showing my skin in public.’
Mrs Jones was told the next option was to have auto-immune suppressant injections which would work by slowing down the production of skin cells.
But the possible side-effects, including sickness, loss of appetite and fatigue, were not worth it for Mrs Jones.
Drugs such as Ciclosporin and Methotrexate, when used for long periods, can cause a number of serious side effects, including severe liver damage and kidney disease, according to the NHS.
Mrs Jones, who has rejected the drugs many times, said: ‘That could have a big impact on my life. I was worried about side-effects and what they might do, and I would constantly have to have blood tests.’
But Mrs Jones decided to give Soratinex a try after her mother read about it,
Within a week, Mrs Jones said she could see a difference. She added: ‘Then it started clearing up. It is the most amazing treatment I have ever used. I now have absolute confidence in it.
‘I was worried that when I stopped using the treatment, my psoriasis would come back – the way it did with everything else I have tried – but it didn’t.
‘I would say I am now about 95 per cent clear, and my concerns about cost have gone away. Considering the months I have been clear, it actually turned out to be very economical.
‘I still haven’t been swimming with my children because I haven’t become accustomed to having clear skin. It has come as a real shock to me and it will take some time to get used to it.’
Dave Brooks, 54, said he feels as though a weight has been lifted off his shoulder since using Soratinex. Psoriasis has been affecting his life since he was seven years old
Mr Brooks has been hiding his condition by avoiding wearing shorts since a young age. His patches mostly affect his knees and elbows. Pictured, his knee before and after
‘I’ve had a massive weight lifted off my shoulders’ – Dave Brooks
Dave Brooks, 54, a newspaper production designer from Petersfield, Hampshire, first became aware of his psoriasis when he was about seven years old.
He said: ‘I began panicking – I had been reading a lot of comics like The Fantastic Four and thought I was turning into a reptile. My parents had no idea what it was.
‘At first, it was quite heavy in my scalp and in my hair, but as I grew older it became concentrated on my knees and elbows.
‘It became very bad from the ages of 16 to 25 when, of course, you become more aware of social situations and the opposite sex.
‘I never let it depress me, but I was very self-conscious about the condition.’
Mr Brooks would avoid swimming pools or changing rooms but wasn’t able to avoid sports at school where he was traumatised by the necessity of wearing shorts.
He said: ‘Once I became old enough to make my own choices, I never wore them. I would even go on holiday to hot countries and wear jeans all the time.’
In the past, Mr Brooks tried steroid creams such as Betnovate and Dovonex and six months of UVB treatment that involved driving 20 miles to Winchester hospital three times a week for 10 minute sessions – both didn’t work.
‘Then at the end of 2017 I heard that a new three-part treatment called Soratinex was launching in the UK and I was persuaded by a friend to give it a go,’ he said.
At the time, Mr Brooks was not using any treatment because he felt it was a waste of time and did nothing but stain the bedsheets.
‘I was extremely cynical at first because there are so many things out there that claim to help but just don’t work, so my expectation levels were zero.’
However, the scaly skin on Mr Brook’s elbows and knees began to improve within a week.
He said: ‘That was the most dramatic week and then after that, over the next seven, I just saw small but steady improvements all the time. I just couldn’t believe it something made from essential oils and herbal extracts – without steroids – could be so effective.
‘My affected areas are 80-90 per cent better now. It just feels amazing. It’s like having a weight lifted from my shoulders.
‘I lived with it for 40 years. I tried not to let it bother me too much, but I was always embarrassed about the loose plaques I would leave behind if I sat on someone else’s car seat or their dark upholstery.
‘I was massively self-conscious about things like that, but I don’t have to worry about it any more.’
WHAT IS THE SORATINEX THREE STEP REGIME?
Soratinex works as a three step regime, including a gel, cream and oil
The manufacturers of Soratinex say the natural essential oils it contains hydrates the skin and forms a natural protective layer.
The oil is also rich in vitamins A and E.
It does not contain steroids which are known to thin and damage the skin.
The set of products consists of three steps:
- Skin Care Gel, designed to remove dry flakes, smooth the skin and the Soratinex Skin Care Cream
- Skin Care Cream, which helps to suppress inflammation
- Skin Care Oil, which moisturises the skin and forms a protective layer, enabling the Skin Care Cream to work effectively
The products contain oils including safflower, castor, olive, sesame oil, wheat germ, lavender, rosemary, rose, evening primrose, lemongrass, avocado, bergamot and chamomile.
The products have been tested in several European hospitals and clinics by experts in dermatology. The results show efficacy of more than 80 per cent.
The cheapest kit costs £76 for the three products.